Protesters hit the streets for anti-corruption rally

Published: Mar. 25, 2017 at 5:28 PM CDT
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Initiated Measure 22 made national headlines when South Dakota lawmakers voted to repeal the voter-approved measure that would have created a government ethics commission, along with setting restrictions on campaign finances.

Saturday, South Dakota voters marched against government corruption, taking a stand against the repeal, saying lawmakers did not do enough to replace IM 22.

"The point is to send a message the people aren't satisfied," said co-founder of Represent South Dakota Mark Winegar.

With chants and signs, people took the streets of downtown Sioux Falls Saturday morning.

"It's one of those things where if the idea of democracy is freedom and the idea of democracy means your voice means something, having people you elected say you don't understand what you are saying," said Collin Ulferts, who participated in the rally.

South Dakota voters rallied to show they are unsatisfied with the laws passed this legislative session aimed at replacing parts of IM 22.

"IM 22 is a South Dakota accountability and anti-corruption act and that has been thrown away," said Winegar.

The rally was put together by Represent South Dakota. Nicholas Rasmussen is the co-founder of the grassroots organization. He says state legislators shouldn't be able to scrap a bill approved by voters.

"It just sets a horrible precedent for the future," Rasmussen said.

Some people say the laws passed this session didn't cover what the voters wanted in Initiated Measure 22.

"They say we want to pass some legislature that fulfills the spirit of IM 22, which they have not done," added Winegar.

"This is something that all South Dakotans together voted on and Governor Daugaard and the state legislators decided that those votes were confusing that the public didn't understand what we wanted and we absolutely know what we want," stated Ulferts.

Organizers say they used the rally as a step to try and hold the state government accountable, hoping to spread it to a national level.

"The end game is to go to the states and change it at the state level," said Winegar. "When we have solved this problem in enough states, it will happen in congress."